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CN English-American literature test paper (July, 2004) IV

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Ⅳ. Topic Discussion(20 points in all, 10 for each)
Write no less than 150 words on each of the following topics in English in the corresponding space on the answer sheet.

49. Discuss the possible theme in W.B. Yeats’s “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” and how that theme is presented in the poem.

A. The poem might be read as a declaration of the poet's longing for rustic/natural life as opposed to city/civilized/artificial life. This idea is expressed through contrasting images such as simple, peaceful country life suggested by "a small cabin" of "clay and wattle", "bean-rows", "a hive for honeybee", "bee-loud glade", etc., as opposed to the artificial/civilized life suggested by "the roadway" and "the pavement gray".
B. If the sound of the lapping water by the shore is  a call upon the poet, then the repetition of "I will arise and go now" reveals the poet's determination to escape into that fairyland where he could live in peace and enjoy the beauty of nature.
C. Examinees may also have noticed that the images that suggest the beauty of natural life outnumber those that suggest undesirable city life, and this also shows the poet's preference.

50. “My faith is gone!” cried he (Goodman Brown), after one stupefied moment. “There is no good on earth; and sin is but a name. Come, devil! For to thee is this world given.”
Comment on this passage from Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown”.

A. Goodman Brown utters this cry when he finds his wife Faith, together with lots of prominent people of village and the church, attending a witches' Sabbath in the woods.
B. His cry shows his great surprise and disillusionment. Thereafter, he becomes distrustful and doubtful. He lives a dismal and gloomy life because he is never able to believe in goodness or piety again. Here the author makes a pun of the word "faith". Goodman Brown loses not only his faith in religion and life, but also his faith in his wife, for his wife's name is Faith.
C. From this story, we also can see that Hawthorne is a great allegorist and a master of symbolism. This story itself is an allegory and is full of symbols such as the forest, the night, the snake, and the pink ribbon.

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